When the Copa America is held in 2016, it will be the 100th anniversary of the special event. And for the first time ever, the soccer tournament games will be played in the United States.
“Copa America in 2016 will be the biggest international sporting event that the U.S. has hosted since the 2002 Winter Olympics,” said Jeffery Webb of CONCACAF.
The tournament will feature 16 teams from two Latin American soccer federations who will play in a number of U.S. cities. Each city will have to bid to host the games, much in the same way the Super Bowl is bid on and awarded. But multiple cities will win games in the Copa America.
“A local organizing committee will be to set up and meet the organizations and submit proposals to be considered,” said Miami-Dade County Deputy Mayor Chip Iglesias.
One-off soccer games have proven to be big in Miami, but there is large opposition to building a soccer stadium at Port Miami. But, Webb said that shouldn’t hurt the Magic City’s chances of possibly winning a bid.
“Of course not!” Webb said.
Since CONCACAF is headquartered in Miami, the city probably has a very good shot at landing a game. Soccer star Cobi Jones said it would be a great opportunity for the sport in Miami and the United States.
“As more and more attention is placed on the sports and people start playing the game, and there is a bit more knowledge of the game, more access to the game; you will see the growth just continue,” Jones said.